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How Useful Are Leaf Mulchers?

Lawns are the first thing that anyone sees outside of our houses thus, a well – manicured lawn has become an epitome of well – kept and organized the house. However, maintaining such pristine lawn and for some even just clearing the leaves can be tedious. In the past, there was a need for the removal of leaves for disposal as fallen leaves are touted to be the grass – killers. These have led to the rise of the sales of rakes and lawn movers that are still used till this day.  Rake and lawnmowers have become essential tools in almost all of the households for lawn care. It has been a common practice to pile up the leaves by raking them then afterward they are thrown, buried in a compost pit or even burned. In these modern days, burning is no longer accepted as a socially or environmentally sound practice. Composting sounds ecologically friendly but one cannot negate the fact that this is still a labor – intensive task.  Burning is no longer desired and in fact, it is considered as a bad organic gardening practice. This is also especially true if you are closely living with the neighbors.

The common machines used in the lawns and gardens are tiller, log splitter, pole saw, and leaf mulchers. Wood chippers are used for lawns that have a considerable number of trees, yielding a large amount of branches and twigs. The wood chips that can be produced by this machine can also be used as an organic mulch material. The blowers are used to blow leaves into the street (and away from the lawns!) or to the piles, before they are bagged and disposed of. Yet, more and more urban dwellers are banning leaf blowers nowadays. The leaf vacuum does not do what a blower does – to blow the leaves away. Leaf vacuums collect the leaves more efficiently and into a bag. Bagging the leaves is a neat solution to tidying up the leaves. It does not blow towards the neighbor’s yards, it does not stay on the grass and the leaves will no longer be a fire hazard when left to pile up in corners. However, bagging is a time – consuming and backbreaking exercise and it will also waste the potential benefits of the leaf to the soil.

At these times, the fallen leaves are no longer looked at as a waste that one has to clear but something that is beneficial to the ecosystem. Fallen leaves can provide shelter or bedding to a variety of insects and animals. In time, the composted leaves provide nutrients to the soil that nourishes the grass. Yet, leaving a pile of whole leaves on the certain sections of the yard can smother the grass and kill them. Removal of lawn wastes such as leaves is necessary since the whole leaves block the sunlight and air may not be able to penetrate the grass. The lack of these essential elements can cause disease and worse, kill the grass.  Thus, the leaves are still beneficial to the grass and the soil but in the different form, and that it should be shredded. The shredded leaves are what needed rather than whole leaves is.

If you are just using a rake, you will still need the mulcher or the shredder. So instead of raking the leaves and stuffing them into the bags to be thrown, mulching is a very beneficial option. Some will use their mower and mow over the fallen leaves many times but this proves to be an arduous task. Lawn mowing may be used to shred leaves but they are not as effective to shred the leaves effectively. Lawn mowers cannot re – circulate the leaves inside the machine the way that mulchers do. The better option is to use the leaf mulcher. The mulcher will shred the leaves to small pieces. The design of this machine enables it to shred the leaves even up to a confetti size.  A mulch forms a protective barrier around plants and over bare soil. The wood chips, leaves, and other debris that is added in also controls weeds, retains moisture, prevents soil erosion, and controls pests. The microorganisms in the soil break down the organic mulch such as those that are made of leaves, the decayed leaves will provide nutrients to the roots of the grass. These shredded leaves will decompose faster as a fertilizer and a natural weed killer. In the winter, the mulch will protect the roots of the plants from winter frost.  Further broken down, the mulch from the leaves will form into a   mold which will be a potent soil conditioner. Whole leaves combine with other lawn wastes can block the water penetration to the soil. Leaves are the best for mulching when they are shredded. These are all possible with the aid of the ever reliable leaf mulcher. A leaf mulcher will do the dirty work for you. Leaves can be shredded by a lawn mower but the leaf mulcher can do the task best.

The use of a leaf mulcher will also provide savings in time and money to the lawn owners as the mulching can prevent the growth of the unwanted grasses and plants in the yard like the weeds. This will provide for savings from buying weed killers.  The amount of time one spends on removing the weeds is also remarkably reduced. As the decomposed leaves, provide the nutrients to the grasses, there is less or no need to purchase the fertilizer to achieve the immaculate green cover, especially in the spring.  The remaining leaves can also be placed in the compost bin.

With all of these benefits that mulching can give to the lawns, gardens and to the ecosystem, it is no wonder that purchasing a stand – alone mulcher or even a vacuum/mulcher is a smart investment. The leaf mulcher will not achieve the goals for the effortless garden and lawn maintenance but it can harness the benefits of a mulch.

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